U.S. indicts 6 in local heroin ring
HARRISONBURG — A two-year investigation has led to federal charges against six Winchester-area residents who were allegedly operating a heroin ring.
Raymond Thomas Conrad, 24, William Russell “Rusty” Carroll II, 26, Dana James Hardy, 26, Jennifer Elizabeth Breeden, 24, Brian Gary Pelczynski, 28, and Charles Lynwood Kline, 25, are charged in an 11-count indictment unsealed Monday in U.S. District Court.
All are from Winchester or Frederick County.
They are charged together in one count with knowingly and intentionally distributing and possessing with the intent to distribute 1,000 or more grams of heroin from April 2010 to Thursday, when they were indicted.
Conrad was additionally indicted for three counts of knowingly and intentionally distributing heroin on March 31 and April 19 and 25, 2012; one count of knowingly and intentionally possessing heroin with intent to distribute on April 27, 2012; and one count of being an unlawful user or addict to any controlled substance and knowingly possessing a firearm on the same date.
Breeden was charged in two additional counts of knowingly and intentionally distributing heroin on Aug. 22 and 24, 2012.
Carroll and Pelczynski were additionally charged in the same count with knowingly and intentionally distributing heroin on Aug. 23, 2012.
Hardy and Kline were also charged separately with one count of knowingly and intentionally distributing heroin on Aug. 24 and Oct. 15, 2012.
Winchester police Lt. Wallace Stotlemyer said the investigation began in 2010 with a heroin overdose in the city that did not result in death.
The Northwest Regional Drug Task Force began a brief investigation, saw potential in the case and contacted the federal Drug Enforcement Administration for assistance.
Stotlemyer said the investigation has been very active during the last 18 months.
“We’re excited about the arrests and the case,” he said Tuesday in a phone interview. “We want people to understand the significance of the case.”
From 2010 to Thursday, when the group was indicted, Stotlemyer said, officers weighed and confiscated two kilograms of heroin.
According to Stotlemyer, a typical heroin arrest, at one time, might yield from 0.1 to one gram of heroin.
“It’s a substantial amount of heroin,” he said of the material confiscated during the investigation. “It’s a very successful case up to this point.”
The individuals indicted were allegedly selling and using the drug.
When asked if the group was considered the “big fish” in the local heroin realm, Stotlemyer said that in regard to heroin, authorities “do not think in terms of big fish and little fish.”
“Heroin is an extremely dangerous and addictive drug, and it’s not going to be tolerated in our communities,” he said. “I want people to understand, user or distributor, we’re going to treat everyone the same.”
Court documents indicate that the group could face 10 or more years in prison for the charges brought against them.
Conrad, Carroll, Hardy, Breeden and Kline are being held without bond at the Central Virginia Regional Jail in Orange.
Pelczynski has not been arrested. Stotlemyer said he will report to court on Thursday in Harrisonburg.
— Contact Melissa Boughton at email@example.com